Georgia Elite Sophomore Game: Americans 7, Nationals 0

The Sophomore Game marked the conclusion of the 2019 Georgia Elite Classic and also completed Sunday’s five-game sweep of the American Teams scoring victories over the National Teams. American Team running back Gannon Hearst (GAC) provided the game’s only touchdown on a 1-yard handoff with 6:18 left in the third quarter. The Americans produced 231 total yards of offense and limited the Nationals to just 101 total yards of offense, including -8 yards on the ground.

American Team quarterback Bryce Archie (McEachern) kept the Americans in control throughout the game with his 123 passing yards and hard-earned 24 rushing yards. This effort resulted in the Class of 2022 quarterback winning the MVP of the sophomore game. Five different American Team receivers caught passes by the time the game ended and Chandler Heath led all targets with two catches for 60 yards.

Defensively, Jimmy Bowdry and Kyle White each had interceptions while defending against the Nationals’ offense.

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Georgia Elite Freshman Game: Americans 23, Nationals 0

The Americans scored a safety and a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half to build a 16-0 lead. The first touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Forsyth Central RB/ATH Petyton Streko and it capped a 12-play, 60-yard drive that ate up 7:20 of the opening quarter. Teammate Lucian Anderson added a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:19 left in the half and then the Americans forced a fumble that resulted in a safety at the 1:50 mark to make it 16-0.

The Americans received the ball to start the second half and traded 7-play, 5-minute drives with the Nationals in what would be a scoreless period. The Americans got the ball down to the Nationals 7-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but Colson Brown’s 30-yard field goal attempt was no good. The Nationals turned it over on downs on their following possession and gave the Americans the ball back at their own 36-yard line with 6:45 left in the game.

From there, the Americans fed the ball to Streko on five straight snaps, and his fifth carry resulted his second touchdown of the game in what was a spectacular 20-yard run. Harrison Brooks made the PAT and the American Team’s lead grew to 23-0 with just 2:55 left. The National Team’s final possession of the game ended with a Gabe Harris sack with just 10 seconds left.

Streko, who played in the Eighth Grade Game at last year’s Classic, finished with a game-high 120 rushing yards off of 14 carries and was named the MVP. American quarterback Lucian Anderson completed all four of his pass attempts for 36 yards and Marek Briley was the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 28 yards.

Nationals quarterback Dylan Lonergan (Brookwood) finished 9-of-18 passing for 68 yards. One of the highlights of the game was Lonergan’s 34-yard pass to receiver RJ Johnson (ELCA) in the first quarter. Johnson used a diving, one-handed effort to complete the incredibly-difficult catch.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE

Georgia Elite Junior Game: Americans 24, Nationals 7

The Americans established a 14-0 lead in the first half and closed out a 17-point victory (24-7) in a game that was statistically much closer than the final score would suggest. Both teams finished the game 4-of-13 on third-down conversions and the Nationals outgained the Americans 214-to-198 in total yardage. The stat that tilted the result of the game in favor of the Americans, however, was their 2-2 success-rate on redzone chances compared to the Nationals’ 0-2.

Sonoraville quarterback Brady Lackey threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Hampton tight end Dennard Flowers to give the Americans a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter. The Americans added to their lead late in the second quarter on a 42-yard run by Temple running back Phillip Johnson. Johnson’s touchdown run capped an 11-play, 86-yard drive.

The Nationals scored their lone touchdown on an explosive 71-yard touchdown run by Early County running back LaDarius Ceasar on the first possession of the second half. The Americans added a 34-yard Conor Cummings (Walton) field goal with 5:30 left in the third quarter to push the lead back to 17-7 heading into the fourth. Lackey, who passed for a touchdown in the first quarter, scored on a 4-yard run with 3:15 left in the game to provide the final tally (24-7).

The MVP of the Junior Game was Carrollton defensive end Khristian Zachary. The Class of 2021 prospect wrecked havoc while playing along the Nationals’ defensive front–finishing with a game-high 9 tackles, including five solo tackles for loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE.

Georgia Elite Brain Bowl: Americans 17, Nationals 0

The Americans did all its scoring in the first half and forced four turnovers in a 17-0 victory over the Nationals in the Second-Annual Brain Bowl. Loganville running back Richard Seay provided the game’s first points on a 64-yard touchdown run that put the Americans up 7-0 with 3:18 left in the first quarter. The wet and windy conditions made passing the ball difficult for both teams, but American Team quarterback Nick Hanson (Heritage-Ringgold) found Grayson receiver Jaden Smith for a 59-yard touchdown with just 3:10 left in the half.

Walt Hawthorne (Central-Macon) recovered a Nationals fumble with just one minute left in the half that set up a Bryson Franklin 32-yard field goal to increase the lead to 17-0. American cornerback Derrick Witherspoon Jr. added two second half interceptions after already registering one in the first half. Witherspoon’s three interceptions, one pass breakup and one solo tackle rewarded him with the game’s MVP distinction. Seay (12 carries, 101 rushing yards) and Wilcox County’s Noah Hollingsworth (12-84) also had big performances, combining for 185 of the team’s 201 rushing yards.

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Georgia Elite Senior Game: Americans 14, Nationals 0

The Americans scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter and limited the Nationals to -16 rushing yards in a 14-0 shutout victory in the opening game of Sunday’s Georgia Elite lineup. Pebblebrook running back Jaquavious Jones led all rushers with 62 yards off of eight carries and he got the Americans on the board with a 41-yard touchdown with 1:50 left in the first half. The Nationals fumbled its next possession and Berrien defensive lineman Jaden Wheeler recovered it to give the Americans the ball back at the 7-yard line. Grady running back Canaan Brant scored on the next play, which put the Americans up 14-0 with 1:34 left in the half.

The teams traded brief possessions in the third quarter until the Nationals put together an 11-play drive that didn’t produce any points, but lasted 7:07. The Americans punted on their final two possessions of the game and the Nationals turned it over on downs with 2:28 left to play.

American Team and Whitefield Academy linebacker Jaquez Dew had four tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup in addition to an interception and massive return that was later negated due to a late hit on the quarterback. Dew injured his ankle during the return and had to leave the game–resulting in him accepting his Senior Game MVP award in his Georgia Elite Classic hoodie rather than in his full pads. Dew had 147 tackles this season for Wolfpack and was an All-State Selection.

Alpharetta kicker and punter Bryce Troutt was the winner of the kicking competition at halftime–clinching the victory with a 45-yard field goal.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE

Georgia Elite 8th Grade: Nationals 36, Americans 12

Following a scoreless opening quarter, the American team got on the board with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jeremy Hecklinski to Jordan Bride (GAC). The connection capped an 8-play 52-yard drive and gave the Americans a 6-0 lead with 4:25 left in the half. The Nationals answered with a 9-play, 70-yard drive that ended on a 1-yard touchdown run by Caden Williams (Calhoun) with just 8 seconds left in the half. Williams also added the 2-point conversion to give the Nationals an 8-6 lead to open the second half.

Omarion Tucker–who led the Nationals on the defensive side of the ball in the first half with six solo tackles and a sack–switched to the offensive side of the ball in the third quarter and ran in a 17-yard touchdown to increase the Nationals’ lead to 14-6. The Americans’ turned it over on downs on its following possession and then Williams finished off a 4-play, 35-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run and his second successful 2-point conversion of the game to make it a 22-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Hecklinski found Bride for the duo’s second touchdown connection of the game just five seconds into the final frame with a beautiful 24-yard pass to the corner of the end zone, but the 2-point attempt failed and the Americans still trailed 24-12. The Nationals tacked on a 7-play, 70-yard scoring drive on its following possession and Jones County athlete Zion Ragins found the endzone on an explosive 37-yard touchdown.

The Nationals found the endzone again on a Maverick Shippman (Lakeside) 12-yard rushing touchdown and Shippman 2-point conversion to pad the lead to 36-12 with 5:27 left in the game. Williams finished the game with a game-high 144 rushing yards off of 18 carries and was named MVP. He also 3 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE

Georgia Elite 7th Grade: Nationals 28, Americans 0

The National Team scored a touchdown in each quarter of its 28-0 victory and limited the American team to just 82 yards of total offense–a statistic that helped them win the battle of field position throughout the contest. The Nationals received the ball to open the game and were forced to punt, but on the Americans’ first possession, Stephens County athlete Javin Gordon jumped a Landon Walker pass attempt and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown to get the Nationals on the board. The Nationals added to their lead in the opening minute of the second quarter–capping a 7-play, 45-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Reginald Johnson (Blessed Trinity) to Bryce Lewis (Holy Redeemer). Brayden Lewis (Mount Vernon) ran in the successful 2-point attempt to make it 14-0 heading into the half.

The Americans opened the second half with their best drive of the game, but the 11-play, 63-yard drive reached the National 1-yard line and eventually stalled at 7-yard line following two negative rushing plays and a pair of incompletions. The scoreless drive took up the first 7:51 of the third quarter. The Nationals took over at its 7-yard line and advanced with a big 26-yard completion from Johnson to Lewis. Gordon added a 10-yard run and then capped off the 93-yard scoring drive with a 58-yard touchdown run with 1:09 left in the period. Johnson found Lewis on the 2-point conversion attempt to make it a 22-0 lead.

The Americans turned it over on downs to open the fourth quarter and then the Nationals capped off a 4-play scoring drive with a Lewis 3-yard touchdown run to make it a 28-0 lead with 8:59 left.

Gordon was named the game’s MVP after finishing with a game-high 96 rushing yards, including his 58-yard score. Defensively, Gordon had his 46-yard interception return touchdown in the first quarter and finished with 2.5 tackles.

For complete stats of today’s game CLICK HERE

Georgia Elite 6th Grade: Americans 14, Nationals 12

The Sixth Grade American Team denied a potential game-tying 2-point conversion at the buzzer and held off a late Nationals’ rally for a 14-12 victory  in Saturday’s opening game of the 2019 Georgia Elite Classic’s Middle School lineup. The Americans got on the board with 8:55 left in the opening quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Grayson Stafford (Prince Avenue Christian) to Brady Marchese (McClure Middle), but a failed 2-point attempt kept the lead at 6-0. The margin held until just before the half when Christopher Miller (Connections Academy) connected with Marchese for a 74-yard touchdown pass with just 1:15 left in the half. Grayson Villar (McClure Middle) rumbled his way into the endzone on the ensuing 2-point conversion and the Americans took a 14-0 lead into the half.

The Nationals did not cut into the margin until late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Caden Dawson (Blessed Trinity) capped off a 4-play drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to John Durden (Whitefield Academy) with just 1:04 left in the game, but the 2-point try failed and the Americans’ continued to lead 14-6. The Americans got the ball back and running back Tylil Jones (Tapp) was in the midst of picking up a first down, but Kolton Driskell (King’s Ridge) forced and recovered a fumble to give the Nationals the ball back near midfield with just 16 seconds left.

Hayes Griffin got the Nationals into scoring range with a 24-yard completion to Durden and the clock stopped as the  Americans misused a challenge flag to question an unchallengable call. The Americans quickly got up to the line of scrimmage and then Griffin tossed it into a crowd of jerseys in the middle of the end zone. Multiple players got their hands on the football and it was first ruled as an interception, but then a challenge flag from the American sideline brought it under review and it was overruled–crediting Luke Gibbons (King’s Ridge) with a 16-yard touchdown catch. The Americans went for the potential game-tying 2-point conversion, but the pass went incomplete.

Marcheses finished with a game-high 93 receiving yards to go with his two touchdowns, while also adding four solo tackles and a tackle for loss defensively and was named the game’s MVP.

For complete stats from today’s game CLICK HERE

SEVENTH ANNUAL CLASSIC TO FEATURE HISTORIC EIGHT-GAME LINEUP

The Seventh Annual Georgia Elite Classic will feature the biggest lineup of games in the event’s history, starting on Saturday, Dec. 21 with a triple-header and closing on Sunday, Dec. 21 with a five-game lineup at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium. The amplified schedule of this year’s Classic stems from the addition of a Sixth Grade All-Star game for the first time. The Sixth-Grade All-Stars will be kicking things off on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., followed by the Seventh-Grade All-Stars at 4 p.m. and the Eighth-Grade All-Stars at 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Senior All-Star Game starts things off at 10 a.m., followed by the Brain Bowl at 12:30 p.m., Junior All-Stars at 3 p.m., Freshman All-Stars at 5:30 p.m. and Sophomore All-Stars 8 p.m.

The 2019 Classic’s expansion comes just one year after a series of new additions were made to last year’s edition. In 2018, a Seventh and Eighth-Grade game were brought back after a one-year absence, in addition to the inaugural Brain Bowl, which formed its rosters based off athletes with impressive academic achievements.

The sheer size of this year’s event will allow more than 700 participants from more than 200 different Georgia High Schools appear in a competitive all-star environment with talented prospects from throughout the state. Former Georgia Elite Classic participants that have already gone on to the NFL includes Mitch Hyatt (North Gwinnett- Dallas Cowboys), Darius Slayton (Greater Atlanta Christian- New York Giants), TJ Rahming (McEachern- Miami Dolphins) and Chuma Edoga (McEachern- New York Jets) and high school All-Americans like Arik Gilbert (Marietta-committed to LSU), Owen Pappoe (Grayson-Auburn), Jadon Haselwood (Cedar Grove-Oklahoma) and Dominick Blaylock (Walton-Georgia) have also appeared in the games.

In addition to attracting Georgia’s most talented players, the Classic also brings in some of the state’s most accomplished coaches to lead the sidelines. This year’s Senior All-Star Game will have McEachern Offensive Coordinator Derrick Cook and Tucker Head Coach Bryan Lamar squaring off. The Junior Game will have Cedartown assistant Mike Worthington and Peach County assistant Todd Cooper serving as head coach. North Forsyth’s Todd Faulkner and Lithia Springs head coach Corey Jarvis will be coaching the Brain Bowl. The sophomore game will have Walton Offensive Coordinator Chris Hirschfield going against Calhoun Offensive Coordinator Mike Davis and the Freshman game will be led by Kell Assistant Head Coach Steve Gates and Rome Defensive Coordinator Wayne Groves.

Sophomores: Americans 37, Nationals 10

McEachern quarterback Carlos Del Rio threw touchdown passes in each of the first three quarters and rushed for a 38-yard touchdown in the fourth to lead the Americans. Kell kicker Colby Kerns provided the game’s first points with a made 36-yard field goal and Del Rio found Indians teammate Jahmanuel Arnold later in the opening frame for a 38-yard score to make it a 10-0 game.

The Nationals capped a 9-play scoring drive with a 32-yard Braden Ralston field goal, and quarterback Trevor Lovett (North Cobb) later found Jaquez Smith (Hapeville Charters) for a 7-yard touchdown pass to even the game 10-10 with 1:53 left in the half.

Del Rio answered with an 8-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Arnold with just 13 seconds on the clock. This was the start of the Americans’ 27 unanswered points to close out the victory. Early in the third quarter, Del Rio found Camden County receiver Shawn Hardy for a 66-yard touchdown that increased the Nationals lead to 23-10.

Del Rio added a 34-yard rushing score with 9:06 left and Damozzio Harris rushed for a 9-yard touchdown 1:20 left for the final tally. The Americans outgained the Nationals 379-to-176 and averaged 8.81 yards per play.